I previously noted that while Obama had a strong second quarter fundraising, the effort focused on two gimmicks — getting big donors to max out early and running up “small donor” numbers through a cheesy $5 $3 dinner raffle.

Now it appears that the fundraising is losing steam, so Team Obama is going to blame the debt ceiling debate.  As reported by AP via Jim Geraghty:

President Barack Obama’s campaign expects to raise tens of millions of dollars less this summer than it did in the spring because negotiations over the nation’s debt limit forced Obama to cancel several fundraisers.

Obama’s campaign said Wednesday it canceled or postponed 10 fundraisers involving the president, Vice President Joe Biden and White House chief of staff Bill Daley in the past month because of the debt talks, scrubbing events in California, New York and elsewhere.

… “We’re going to raise significantly less in the third quarter than we did in the second quarter,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager. “We will not be able to replace all of these events just because of his busy schedule. We always knew that he had his job and we had to do this around his schedule, and the truth is we just have to deal with canceling a month’s worth of events.”

Geraghty has long argued that it would be difficult for Obama to match his 2008 fundraising, much less hit the $1 billion target. It’s certainly looking that way.

Fundraising is the thing Obama does best, so don’t count the Billion Dollar Candidate out yet.